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ūüĎćDAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, FiiO X5, Chord Hugo, Calyx M, Aurender Flow, Lotoo Paw Gold - Page 7

post #91 of 1521
Thread Starter 

@DMinor No, that's called "Taking the mickey" (out of our hobby).

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

 

Anytime I buy cables for headphones now I have them terminated in a 4-pin mini-XLR so I can add tails for whatever headphone socket I need to connect to.

 

very good idea !  I will do the same now :-)   thanks

 

PS: still believe that you need to introduce the HUGO in the tests if you want to avoid the "boring usual conclusion": AK240 win...

 

For the UERMs I'm going to do the same, but have the cable terminated in a 2.5mm TRRS for the AK240 and have adaptors for everything else.

 

For a better comparison though what I need to do is, IMO:

 

AK240 vs. Hugo.

 

and

 

AK120 vs. the others.

post #92 of 1521

I'm curious.  The AK240 is a great DAP... what level of home gear would you say it matches?  Good alternative for an iem only home rig?  Considering replacing the big rig with a usb dac capable dap to have one portable uber rig.  And then pray it doesn't get smashed on my commute ;)

post #93 of 1521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

And doubt you should! I sure did. I'd say it's an all-or-nothing thing: Everything has to be excellent, including the music. It's for people who are willing to spend the money and listen to music where that last bit of clarity is everything, yet you want it to fit in your pocket. It's for people whom what it is, is exactly what they are after. 

 

What you describe though in your point is what I feel the AK240 is. But again: TNSTAAFL -- It's $2500. Maybe Vinnie can mod it to make it better still, but that will be another large sum on top of that. You can get very good sound and a very enjoyable listening experience out of the other three (or an AK100 or AK120). Heck, for the majority of my music, once playlist support is added, I could well enjoy listening from the X5 with a pair of Parterres and both fit in my pocket nicely.

 

Transparency: That is whatever we say it is. Real transparency has to exist inside ourselves first -- we are opaque, muddied by many things, especially our beliefs and ingrained thought patterns, but this is rather off-topic. :smile:

 

Based on my own experience with AK240, it is really extraordinary in its transparency and clarity and you really need TOTL IEMs/headphones to get the most out of it like what Currawong has mentioned repeatedly, especially with the balanced out. IMO it is already very close to Hugo's SQ level as stock on single-ended out. Vinnie also thinks it's really good on its own, but has come up with more ways to do a RWAK240 mod and further improve on it. A detailed review on RWAK240 vs stock AK240 and the other TOTL DAPs especially Hugo would be very interesting! :wink_face: It is really only for those who does not care about the cost to SQ ratio and only want to squeeze every last ounce of SQ improvement you can get out of an ultraportable device by paying a hefty premium. Definitely not for the faint-hearted. Those who are comfortable with compromising on the SQ department for a much better cost should look elsewhere.


Edited by Bluebear - 4/19/14 at 11:32am
post #94 of 1521

"Ask me no questions I'll .........."  Amazon will have the 128 GB, $119.00 card in stock in about a week. There is some availability, pieces which have not been pre-ordered. I think we will have them in our little hands before the end of the month.

post #95 of 1521
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post


Not in Europe : I just Paid my HUGO 1450‚ā¨ while √† AK240 cost 2400‚ā¨ !

 

Curious, where did you buy your HUGO? Lowest price I found was 1700‚ā¨.

post #96 of 1521
Quote:
Originally Posted by aLm0sT View Post

Curious, where did you buy your HUGO? Lowest price I found was 1700‚ā¨.

Bought it from France, but it was the last one available at the "introductory price". Now price has increased quitte à bit
post #97 of 1521
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post


Bought it from France, but it was the last one available at the "introductory price". Now price has increased quitte à bit

 

Ah okay. Yea, looking at what it costs now plus the $$ for an extra DAP, it comes quite close to the price of the AK240.

post #98 of 1521
Thread Starter 

My AK240 video is up now, later than I hoped. It's 21 minutes, down from my first version which was 34 minutes! In case anyone was wondering, I shot the last part of it before all the DAPs arrived. This thread is actually a continuation of the video.

 

post #99 of 1521

Excellent review, thank you very much!

It's way smaller than I thought. I'm still having a hard time convincing myself to spent that much on a DAP though, but then again I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet. 
I think I going to wait a bit more and see how the Calyx M compares to the AK240. 

post #100 of 1521

Well done....only wish you hadn't deleted 13 minutes! And you are correct about the "clunky" software issues. It won't always sync, gives a cryptic message about "unlocking the screen" etc. Perhaps a future post could address.  And I cannot get MQS to load on my osx 10.9.2. (iRiver aware and working on it.)

post #101 of 1521
Very nicely done, thanks for all the input. It must have taken you forever to do all the comparisons. And I love my Duet matched with the AK-240. Keep up the good work, I learn a quit a bit from you guys.
post #102 of 1521
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMinor View Post
 

 

I meant the analog signals converted from DAC go to external amp directly. Let the external amp to handle the dc offsets (yeah I know there is a liability issue for potentially damaging gears). There is brilliant amp design which can compensate for the dc offsets without using caps to maintain transparency.

 

I came to realize the significance of transparency which has enabled me to differentiate the bad recordings from the good ones using the same  phones. The everything sounds open, airy and effortless.

No engineer worth a lick will design a LO with a more than negligible DC. You're likely getting the same performance at a lower price by buying a DAP with both HO and LO. So few LO only models would be sold that it would need to cost significantly more.

post #103 of 1521
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post
 

No engineer worth a lick will design a LO with a more than negligible DC. You're likely getting the same performance at a lower price by buying a DAP with both HO and LO. So few LO only models would be sold that it would need to cost significantly more.

 

I agree the engineer won't take the risk to let any significant DC leave the dap to external amps or phones, simply for liability concern. But that design concept may compromise the transparency of the signal path. Fortunately, we do have the amp designer who is smart enough to design a DC servo circuit which can compensate for the "significant" DC without implementing DC blocking caps. When you have the caps eliminated from both the dap and the amp, suddenly the audio signal path seems just opening up with improved transparency. Once it opens up, everything else comes together (the details, clarity, smoothness, instrument spacing) as if the sound is no longer contained.

 

Well, this is already OT.

 

@Amos - Nice video review of the AK240. I actually like the looks and it does give that hi-tech impression. IMO, much better form design than the others out there.

post #104 of 1521
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMinor View Post

 

@Amos - Nice video review of the AK240. I actually like the looks and it does give that hi-tech impression. IMO, much better form design than the others out there.

 

I'm not being funny but the ZX1 slaughters the AK240 in the design department & the tactile buttons are a master-class in simple design.

 

I don't expect to see the ZX1 win this test, heaven forbid that it competes with DAP's twice-four times the price, especially since the superb Sony update (you can get exact same sound from F886 which will save you £200 on ZX1).

post #105 of 1521
Quote:
Originally Posted by OK-Guy View Post
 

 

I'm not being funny but the ZX1 slaughters the AK240 in the design department & the tactile buttons are a master-class in simple design.

 

I don't expect to see the ZX1 win this test, heaven forbid that it competes with DAP's twice-four times the price, especially since the superb Sony update (you can get exact same sound from F886 which will save you £200 on ZX1).

 

Actually the ZX1 wasn't even in my mind when I mentioned the others. I was referring to the ugly 901 and boring 100/120.

 

Sony is a master in form design and certainly the ZX1 looks attractive. I do like everything buttons, not a fan of touch screen even my iphone 4s included. But just looking from the pics and video, I don't think the ZX1 can slaughters the 240. The 240 has that high-tech flavor in its form design (stealthy, 3D) which distances itself from the rest in that category.

 

As for the sound comparison, the only "transparent" and fair comparison should be done with blind A/Bing. But I don't think that's possible by one person. The reviewer should be completely isolated from the cost of gear. We all know how brain can be washed, aka brain burn-in's either by sound or by propaganda. I am not accusing any reviewer of being impartial, just saying how the brain could respond to intangible things.

 

The cost factor should never be brought into tests and comparisons. It's simply about sound and how each individual reviewer responds to that sound with everything else masked.

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › ūüĎćDAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, FiiO X5, Chord Hugo, Calyx M, Aurender Flow, Lotoo Paw Gold